- Project Leader: Professor Ian Haynes, Mr Doru Bogdan (University of Cluj), Dr Florin Topoleanu (ICEM, Tulcea)
Here on the ancient St Gheorghe arm of the Danube, 30 kms east of the county town of Tulcea (ancient Greek Aegyssus) and 15 kms west of Murighiol (Roman Halmyris) lie an exceptionally well-preserved late Roman citadel/fort and, adjacent to it, a small town that was substantially abandoned by the end of the C3rd.
Three years preliminary research at Mahmudia/Salsovia including studying aerial photographs, extensive field walking, the construction of a digital terrain model, an 11 ha geophysical survey over both fort and environs accompanied by targeted excavation, refined research aims for the site and the region.
It demonstrated how a relatively small project could transform our understanding of both.
The project aims to:
- examine the broad sequence of settlement activity on the citadel/fort, simultaneously yielding material with a defined stratagraphic context
- do a geophysical survey of the town area (10 ha)
- assess settlement at the site in the context of the Delta’s evolution
Excavation throughout 2007 revealed extensive evidence for Iron Age activity on the plateau. It also yielded clear evidence for contact between the site and Greek colonies of the Black Sea coast less than 40km away.
Excavations in the area of the Late Roman fort were also revealing. They provided valuable new information about both the fort’s interior and its monumental defences.
Most spectacularly they demonstrated that the complex was abandoned after a major fire across the interior.
- ‘Salsovia. A fort and town on the lower Danube’, in Vagalinski, L., (ed) 2007 The Lower Danube in Antiquity, Sofia (with Mr Doru Bogdan and Dr Florin Topoleanu)
- ‘Mahmudia, comuna Mahmudia, jud. Tulcea [Salsovia]. Punct: La Cetate’ in Cronica Cercetãrilor Arheologice din România campania 2004. Bucuresti 2005 215-216 (with Dr Florin Topoleanu and Doru Bodgan)